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Taphonomic method for determining muscular articulations in fossil crinoids

William I. Ausich and Tomasz K. Baumiller
Taphonomic method for determining muscular articulations in fossil crinoids
Palaios (October 1993) 8 (5): 477-484


A new taphonomic method is proposed and used to confirm that muscular tissue was present in the arms of Early Mississippian advanced cladid crinoids. The method relies on the assumption of differential tissue decay rates, with muscle decaying more rapidly than ligament. In a crinoid with muscular arms, the arms should disarticulate prior to disarticulation of the ligament bound column segments, whereas in a crinoid with only ligaments in the arms, the arms and column segments will begin to disarticulate at approximately the same time. This method provides an independent means to test for the existence of muscles, and it avoids some problems encountered by relying exclusively on morphological characters. The existence of muscles in the arms of Early Mississippian crinoids is consistent with the widely held view that crinoid muscular arm articulations first evolved during the Early Devonian.

ISSN: 0883-1351
Serial Title: Palaios
Serial Volume: 8
Serial Issue: 5
Title: Taphonomic method for determining muscular articulations in fossil crinoids
Affiliation: Ohio State University, Department of Geological Sciences, Columbus, OH, United States
Pages: 477-484
Published: 199310
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists, Tulsa, OK, United States
References: 35
Accession Number: 1995-011325
Categories: Invertebrate paleontology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table
N39°52'00" - N40°13'00", W87°04'60" - W86°40'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Harvard University, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), Tulsa, OK, United States
Update Code: 199505
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